LONDON Jan 20 Asking prices for homes in
Britain saw their biggest ever rise for the December-January
period, property website Rightmove said on Monday, potentially
adding to concerns about the risk of a housing bubble.
Rightmove's figures show the price of properties coming on
to the market rose 1 percent between Dec. 9 and Jan. 11. The
data series began in 2002.
The rise contrasts with an average fall of 0.2 percent in
similar timeframes over the last 10 years during the Christmas
holiday period, Rightmove said.
Annual price growth was 6.3 percent - the highest since
November 2007 and more than three times the rate of inflation.
Britain has been growing faster than most other major
industrialised economies in recent months, with the housing
market standing out as it benefits from falling unemployment,
record low interest rates and government mortgage schemes.
Concerns about the speed of recovery in the market prompted
the Bank of England in November to announce it would remove
incentives for mortgage lending under its Funding for Lending
Scheme. But the sector remains supported by the government's
Help to Buy mortgage guarantee programme.
Rightmove said there were early signs of greater supply of
existing homes coming on the market in 2014 but said more
construction in the private and social sectors was required to
keep up with demand.